Johor crash victims' bodies back in Singapore

Scene of the horrific car crash in Johor on Friday, Dec 25, 2015.
Scene of the horrific car crash in Johor on Friday, Dec 25, 2015.PHOTO: ROYAL MSIA POLICE

Sole survivor in family of four is 3-year-old boy who was pulled out of the burning car wreckage

The bodies of the three Singaporeans killed in the horrific car crash on Christmas morning in Johor were brought back home yesterday.

Mr Barnabas Lim, reportedly a 45-year-old boss of a car-grooming company, his property agent wife Kristen Ng, 39, and their seven- year-old son Rayshon Lim were all killed in the accident, which also claimed the life of a Malaysian woman.

The sole survivor of the crash is the couple's three-year-old son Evan, who was reportedly pulled out of the burning wreckage by other motorists. Evan had 9 per cent burns on his body, but is not in danger.

 

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said the Singapore Consulate-General in Johor Baru facilitated the safe return of the injured boy to Singapore on Friday, and will continue to give the "necessary assistance".

Yesterday afternoon, at around 12.35pm, relatives - believed to be the dead's woman's sister and her husband - arrived at a mortuary in Kota Tinggi to claim the bodies of the couple and their son.

Mr Lim and his family were heading in the direction of Mersing in a Singapore-registered Land Rover when it was believed to have hit a road signboard near the Sungai Dohol Bridge, near Kota Tinggi, at around 7am. It then collided into a Toyota Corolla heading in the opposite direction.

Both cars then burst into flames. The victims' identification documents, including their passports, were reportedly destroyed in the fire.

Kota Tinggi resident Yang Yu Hua, who was at the scene of the accident, said he stopped to help the victims, and was the one who took the boy to Kota Tinggi Hospital.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, he said: "I was carrying the boy - he was shivering, screaming and crying."

A traffic police officer said the boy was in tears when questioned by police at Kota Tinggi Hospital before he was transferred to Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru, reported The New Paper. "He kept asking in English to see his mother and wanting to speak to her," the officer was quoted as saying.

The Malaysian victim was 30-year-old Noor Haryanti Safiai.

She had gone to visit her parents with her two sisters and her two children. Her husband, Mr Mohd Yusof Jamil, 30, is a member of the Simpang Renggam General Operations Force and was on duty in Kuala Lumpur.

Her father Safiai Mohamad, 60, told Bernama news agency that he had met his daughter at 6.30am after returning home from morning prayers.

He said he spoke to her briefly and advised her to drive carefully before she left their house in Sungai Ara for work in Permas Jaya.

It was the last time he would see her alive.

"It was fortunate her sisters and two children were not with her," he added. Ms Noor Haryanti was buried at the Felcra Sungai Ara Muslim cemetery on Friday evening.

The Sengkang neighbours of the Singaporean family said they were shocked and saddened by the incident. The couple had lived in the flat for about 10 years, and neighbours described the family as tight-knit and friendly.


Three-year-old Evan suffered 9 per cent burns on his body, but is not in danger.  PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY

"The boys would always come out to the corridor to play," said 15-year-old student Sharveas Wary, who lives on the same floor.

Another neighbour, Mrs Dorothy Tan, a 71-year-old housewife, told The Sunday Times: "They will say 'hi' whenever we meet at the lift lobby. I cried a lot yesterday when I found out about the accident. They were such good people.

"The two kids, especially, were very obedient, and would greet us every time they saw us. It's very sad, I watched them grow up."

A spokesman for the New Creation Church attended by the family said: "We are deeply saddened by their tragic demise and have been extending pastoral help and support to their family."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 27, 2015, with the headline 'Johor crash victims' bodies back in S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe